How to Avoid the Bigger Lips Look From Braces.
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Table of Contents
- Lips Get You Noticed
- Lip Shape
- Will Braces Make Lips Bigger?
- Stretched Lips Pain
- At-Home Care
- Avoid or Hide Bigger Lips
- Smile Improvement
Braces can push the lips out, giving them an unnatural look. And this can be painful too.
At-home care can help you ease some discomfort, or you could choose a different form of smile improvement and skip the lip shift altogether.
Your Lips Get You Noticed
Braces shoppers often prioritize their teeth, but your lips say a lot about your age, your health, and your attractiveness. Take care of them, and you're more likely to get the positive attention you want.
Researchers say that pouty, full lips are considered attractive by both men and women. We like lips to seem open, pillowy, and cushioned.
That’s due, in part, to the fact that lips thin as we age. Full lips mean youth, fashion experts say, and that’s often associated with vitality and overall attractiveness.
But a mouth changed by braces does not produce the same type of lip. Lips that are pushed out or stretched by braces often look awkward.
Braces Change Your Lip Shape
Sign up for braces, and your orthodontist will:
Connect Brackets with Wires
All of that hardware sits on the surface of your teeth, right behind your lips. The added material pushes your lips forward and out.
With traditional braces, there’s no way to avoid some degree of the lips moving temporarily, simply due to the space braces take up in the mouth.
Will Braces Actually Make Lips Bigger?
Braces may stretch lips during treatment, but any changes you see in lip shape after your braces are taken off are likely related to the position and alignment of your front teeth. The positioning of your front teeth can change how full or protruding your lips appear.
When an orthodontic issue is fixed, it can also change the appearance of the mouth. For example, an open bite or extreme overbite may make it difficult to completely close the mouth. The mouth may appear stretched open.
When the bite is corrected, the mouth can close, and its shape will look different. The look of the lips will have changed as well. They could appear bigger or smaller depending on the orthodontic changes.
Stretched Lips Are Painful
Your lips are elastic and movable so you can pucker up for a kiss or turn the edges up or down to express emotion. But with braces, your lips hold an unnatural shape for a long time, and that can be really uncomfortable.
Your lips are the most sensitive parts of your body, experts say. More than a million nerve endings line them. Each little nerve can send a signal of pain when the lips are pushed and stretched by braces.
After a day or two of stretching, your lips may also feel the following ways:
Cut and Bruised
At-Home Care For Chapped Lips
Braces sit on your teeth around the clock. There's no way to remove them at home. In time, your lips should adjust to the brackets, and the discomfort should decrease. But there are at-home steps you can take to ease pain while you wait.
When lip pain strikes, do the following:
Try Lip Balm
Drink Cool Water
Use Pain Relievers
How To Avoid Or Hide The Bigger Lips Look From Braces
While some change in lip shape and placement from braces may be unavoidable, there are some things you can do that may help.
If you feel like your lips are being pushed or stretched too much from braces, you should talk to your orthodontist to see if there’s anything they can do to help. You might also consider the following:
- Be mindful of your lip position. If your braces are slightly moving your lips out, you may get in the habit of pushing them too far out. Without causing any discomfort, you may be able to hold them in a more natural, closer position.
- Keep lips healthy and hydrated. If stretched lips are going to bring more attention to your mouth, be sure you’re putting your best face forward with nourished lips.
- Embrace your bigger lips. Accept that your lips may temporarily appear bigger as you undergo braces treatment for a better bite. Smile even more!
- Try another tooth-straightening option. If you haven’t yet started braces treatment and are afraid of your lips appearing bigger, consider aligners. At-home aligners are comfortable, removable, and can treat many mild to moderate orthodontic problems without affecting the lips at all.
Improve Your Smile Without Hurting Your Lips
It's clear that braces push your lips up and out, and they can cut up the inside of your mouth too. You have options that could spare your lips, however.
Lingual braces, for example, are glued to the backside of your teeth. They are far from your lips, but they can change the way your tongue sits in your mouth, experts say.
You may talk with a bit of a lisp when you have lingual braces. You might need to practice both talking and swallowing to get the hang of life with these braces.
Aligners can help protect your lips, and they don't harm your tongue in return. These devices are molded to closely fit around your teeth, and they don't protrude the way braces do.
Aligners can move your teeth with remarkable speed, and they're also difficult to spot with the naked eye. People won't notice pushed lips or shiny hardware. They'll just see your ever-changing smile. If you have an important meeting and want to take them out completely, you can do so.
To improve your smile without causing lip or tongue pain, aligners are a great choice.
Is It Possible to Define the Ideal Lips? (February 2018). Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica.
The Anti-Aging Guide for Lips. (February 2020). Harper's Bazaar.
7 Amazing Facts About Your Lips. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Lingual Braces: The Upside and Downside of Braces on the Back Side. (June 2019). Healthline.
What Are Lingual Braces? Colgate.